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The Pass Plus System and Your Driving Ability

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 20 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
Pass Plus Pass Plus Scheme New Drivers

If you are a new driver, you've probably heard quite a lot of talk about the 'Pass Plus' scheme. Specifically designed for new drivers, the pass plus scheme was introduced because statistics show that this demographic are the most likely to be involved in a road traffic accident within 2 years of passing their test.

Driving Standards Agency and the Pass Plus System

The Pass Plus scheme was designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and through their collaboration with driving schools and insurance companies, was then offered to newly qualified motorists to help them tackle head on some of the driving techniques that they may have just touched upon, or perhaps didn't cover at all while they were preparing for their initial road test.

What's the Aim of the Pass Plus Scheme?

Because it takes years to become a skilled and confident driver, everyone involved with the production and rollout of the scheme hopes that by improving the confidence and skill level of new drivers quickly, the number of accidents that they are involved in will be reduced. Hopefully thereafter this will contribute towards making roads safer places to be on. To encourage new drivers to enrol on the scheme, many insurance companies will also offer a reduction in premiums for new drivers who have taken part in a Pass Plus evaluation.

What Does the Pass Plus Scheme Cover?

The Pass Plus scheme will build on the existing knowledge and skill levels that allowed you to pass your driving test in the first place. For example, experts will teach you:
  • How to identify different hazard types, and help you to anticipate where they are and what to do when you face them.
  • How to embrace the skills you have already learned and build your confidence
  • How you should deal with a diverse range of traffic and road situations, some of which will be new to you.

What Does the Pass Plus Scheme Entail?

You will be taught through six modules which will cover:

  • Driving in all weathers
  • Driving in town
  • Driving on motorways
  • Driving on dual carriageways
  • Driving on country roads
  • Driving at night

Throughout the modules your driving will be assessed continually and you will need to complete all the of modules successfully for you to achieve the Pass Plus qualification. If you are successful you will be awarded either 'Achieved' or 'Exceeded' status - Achieved meaning that you successfully reached the required standard, and Exceeded meaning you surpassed it.

Benefits of Gaining the Pass Plus Qualification

Some of the benefits of the scheme are obvious, such as improving your driving skills and ability, reducing the risk of being involved in an accident, increasing your confidence on the road - all things that any responsible driver would embrace. Others are not so obvious - such as saving money on reduced insurance premiums once you've taken part in the scheme.

In terms of experience, one thing that can prove invaluable to new drivers is that you will be able to learn about safer motorway driving, something which you won't have experienced while taking your driving lessons because driving instructors are not allowed to take a learner driver onto a motorway. The motorway driving module will introduce you to the signs that you will see on your travels, help you to drive safely at speed and also cover what to do if you should break down, which can be extremely dangerous and terrifying to a new driver stuck on a motorway with cars speeding all around them.

So When Can I Take the Course?

It's a good idea to take the Pass Plus course as soon as you can - you are allowed to take it within the first year of passing your practical driving test and as soon as it is finished you can find out if your insurers are willing to give you money off your premiums.

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